OBITUARY: Andrew Steel

Always known as Andy, he was born in Glasgow on 8 October 1946. His father was a tax inspector and moved about the country to the West Midlands and then Liverpool. Andy went to Glasgow University to study engineering and while working in York he met Jill whom he married in December 1973. For a time Andy worked in Kenya maintaining the trains but returned to the UK and was involved in an attempt to develop a European standard for light rail vehicles. He had a lively interest in history and how things could fit together. He was General Manager of Midland Metro, and then of the Manchester network. Although as a working engineer he was involved in the creation of new light railway systems, he also was greatly involved in the preservation of historic trams at the National Tramway Museum at Crich. He had two daughters, Kirsty (who died from cancer in her 20s), and Alex who has two children. Andy kept himself active, enjoying playing rugby in his earlier years, and very much enjoyed walking with friends. Holidays were usually quite adventurous with long trips to Kenya or Vietnam as examples. His death was unexpected. During the night of 2 November 2019 he experienced some chest pain and went downstairs to take something to deal with it. He was found the following morning sitting in his favourite chair – dead. The Coroner had to be involved and Andy was found to have sustained a major heart attack. Andy was a catalyst for many others whom he helped to develop their careers. Although “retired” for two years he was a regular attender at our West Midlands meetings and followed the almost completed extensions to the West Midlands network actively.

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